SDR Deposit of the Week: Celebrating the honors theses

October 15, 2015
Hannah Frost
Graduation cap

Use of the Stanford Digital Repository for archiving student honors theses continues to grow. At the end of the spring 2015 quarter, a total of 141 new items were deposited by students in 10 collections. Over the summer, these items were systematically indexed to SearchWorks and are now available for discovery and access. Some of the first users of this content in fact are the Stanford Class of 2016 honors students who are just now starting to plan their own theses projects to be deposited next spring. The seniors refer to the previously deposited works to familiarize themselves with the finished published product, the deposit process, and key issues to consider, such as licensing and embargo.

A few of the SUL staff who work with their departments each year to grow these collections of honors theses and other major student projects shared some comments about the latest crop of deposits.

Sarah Lester, who manages the Mechanical Engineering 310 collection, writes:

For the 2014-15 academic year, students from ME310 once again loaded their reports into SDR, further expanding the course archive and increasing the reports available for review by future classes. This year's projects ventured into some new areas, including developing a promotional tool for Merck that would dispense small, single-dosage oral decongestant medication as well as a project for Microsoft exploring ways to address this problem of managing the myriad of devices we use daily to simplify multi-device/human interaction.

From Stella Ota

One highlight among the 2015 Physics Honors Theses is a Firestone Medal winner for Excellence in Undergraduate Research authored by Alfred Zong. His thesis entitled "Angle-Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopic Study of Cuprate Fermiology in Bilayer Bismuth Strontium Calcium Copper Oxide" describes his use of a spectroscopy technique to gain insights on the superconducting aspects of Bismuth 2212. If you want to know more, then set-up an article alert; the thesis is embargoed until sometime after the findings are formally published.

Kris Kasianovitz added: 

This past May marked the second thesis deposit by the CISAC Honors Students.  The self-deposit process was fairly seamless. Once we had the current year's theses added, I worked with Shelby Speer, Fellowship and Student Programs Administrator, to contact the 157 CISAC alums asking them to consider adding their theses to the SDR Collection.  Thirty alumni responded with deposits, bringing the overall total of this collection to 56 theses, with the earliest thesis from 2001.

One of the alums from 2008 included his data and data documentation with the thesis deposit, without any prompting from us! He knew that it would be critically necessary for anyone who read his thesis to have access to the data at the same time! This is was a great "first" for the CISAC collection. 

In addition to these three collections, we saw deposit activity in English, Biology, Graduate School of Education, Anthropology, Physics, Urban Studies, and Engineering. SUL selectors are already reaching out to departments and making plans for whole new collections in 2016. Look for a report on that next year!